Benicio “Che” Del Toro Hates Being Railroaded By The Washington Times – Is That Surprising?

The headline for this Washington Times article (“Del Toro Walks out On ‘Che’ Interview”) is misleading at best.  Personally, I don’t really care for Benicio del Toro – I don’t hate him either – but after reading the article, I felt like I should write about this to point out that Sonny Bunch of the Washington Times is a sneaky bastard.

As a technical writer and instructional designer, I spend my working days creating resources that help people accomplish certain tasks, usually as part of their job.  Just because I am very go0d at writing documentation on accomplishing a particular task – say, making homemade explosives – doesn’t mean that I agree with it.  By that same token, Mr. Del Toro’s portrayal of Ernesto Guevara (which was right on, I hear) doesn’t make him a spokesperson for Che’s ideals.  Why weren’t those same questions asked to someone who had some editorial input on the film – Mr. Soderbergh perhaps?  The point is, these guys were just trying to make a movie.  The goal of a movie is to make lots of money, get its crew paid, and win lots of awards, so it appears that Mr. Soderbergh and Mr. Del Toro have been doing their jobs exceptionally well.

I’m sure when the interview was set up, the expectation was that it would be about the movie, rather than Ernesto Guevara’s historical legacy.  Railroading someone who just came in to talk about their work by making them respond in detail to comments on a historical figure’s unsavory-ness is just bad journalism for the sake of a juicy headline.

According to Sonny,

Mr. Valladares is afraid that Mr. del Toro and Mr. Soderbergh’s film will make people forget the reality that was Che Guevara’s life.

Mr. Bunch y Sr. Valladares, in case you missed the memo, Ernesto Guevara has already been turned into a countercultural hero of sorts.  Just spend a day walking around any major U.S. city while counting the number of hipster kids running around wearing red Che shirts.  There are people in this world that just do things without understanding the reasons why.  Both of you will need to accept that and stop trying to blame the American public’s general historical ignorance on a Puerto Rican actor who just played the guy in a movie.

Y me imagino que esa es la ultima entrevista de Benicio con el Washington Times, porque supuestamente a el no le importa un bledo.  He dicho.

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4 Responses to “Benicio “Che” Del Toro Hates Being Railroaded By The Washington Times – Is That Surprising?”

  1. If he’s gonna talk about the movie, he’s gotta talk about the man.. and the fact is, the movie doesnt tell the whole truth, and if he prepared for the movie like he said he did, he would have been prepared for the line of questioning that he got, but the fact is that he like most Americans they only want to romanticize the crap this man did…

    • Jorge, I think you fail to realize the distinction between this movie and who el Che actually was. The fact is that Benicio is an actor who gets paid to act the script he is given. I don’t think he wants to romanticize anything – the man was simply doing his job. I would much rather see Steven Soderbergh get grilled about the movie’s script and editing – “why is it that el Che is only shown executing a rapist, rather than enemies of the revolution?” Clearly Del Toro wasn’t entirely mistaken about his impression of Guavara as he correctly nailed him down as “bloodthirsty.” While it would’ve been responsible for Benicio to know more about the man, if he had tried to, he probably wouldn’t have received all the information you would’ve liked him to see (at least judging from your website’s quotes on socialism). Take a look at the revision history of the Wikipedia page on Ernest Guevara – it changes often, and the main contributor’s handle is “Redthoreau” – what kind of spin do you think he is putting on it – and could you blame anyone for having a distored view of Guevara’s life after reading that?

      Point is, it is just bad journalism to do what this reporter did, and it probably means that Del Toro’s relationship with the Washington Times is pretty much over. And it is just plain wrong for Mr. Valladares to blame Del Toro for America’s distorted view on Guevara’s life and times. If the article had called him guilty of ignorance, I would’ve said fine, but to call him an accomplice of Cuban tyranny and blame him for an entire nation’s lack of historical perspective borders on slander. Certainly, I don’t think it was worth the single juicy headline that the Washington Times got out this.

      Gracias por leer, amigo!

  2. If only I had a dollar for each time I came here! Amazing read!

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